Poll: How do you utilize rest/recovery weeks?

Trying to get a pulse on how people treat rest weeks. Select the answer that most often applies to you (feel free to elaborate in the comments):

  • I follow the rest week as prescribed (endurance rides only)
  • I add an interval workout into the rest week
  • I add two interval workouts into the rest week
  • I train through the rest week

0 voters

For my recovery rate they’re placed pretty well and I’m usually starting to look forward to a low intensity week when they show up.

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For clarity:
Rest = time off entirely, no work.
Recovery = work at an intensity below Endurance pace and usually 1 hour or less.

Point being that the proper term for the weeks in question are Recovery weeks, not Rest weeks. They are different and serve different purposes.


I usually take it easy and either do the prescribed workout or go for an easy MTB ride outside.

I do the prescribed workouts but legit hate it and dont look forward to it ever. I feel worse at the beginning of the following week but assume the recovery week is needed.


Voted I add an interval workout. What I normally do, if I’m going to get out on the club spin at the weekend, is do the ramp on the Friday (which is my “Saturday” workout), as Fridays are when I’ve access to the smart trainer. If the weather is bad, or family life is happening, I’ll push the ramp to the Saturday or Sunday.

Definitely find recovery weeks and rest days a hard part of training - taking them is a big process goal for me.

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I play things by ear. I have challenges with my knees and adjust things accordingly. I try to get at least a shortened high intensity ride in recovery weeks.

When the recovery weeks show up I’m usually ready for them. In fact, today is the beginning of one for me. Yesterday my legs felt quite tired and my heart rate was a bit higher than normal, so I know recovery will do me good. From past experience the Tues, Wed, & Thurs rides feel pretty miserable, but normally by the weekend I’m starting to feel some pep again.

because I commute whilst also training, during a recovery week I will drop the TR workouts completely but keep doing my commutes as usual (low intensity)

I try to follow them as prescribed. Like others have said, I am not a fan of the workouts. I usually find a miniseries to watch (this last one was Chernobyl) or a couple of movies to pass the time.

I also try to do some yoga and/or core work if it’s been slipping during the hard weeks.

I do them as prescribed. I usually ditch the Wednesday ride altogether. I also don’t mind reducing the time of the rides. Although on the weekend I do try to go up to two hours if I have time.

I try to take advantage of my rest weeks to catch up on other things around the house so that’s why I don’t mind cutting back the time I’m riding.

If you’re doing intervals during your rest weeks you’re not following the plan and you are really setting yourself up for long term fatigue issues, be it mental or physical in the long run. I’ve overdone the rest weeks and I am pretty sure I didn’t gain anything from the additional work, and if anything it just slowed my fitness progression long term.

I’m in between the first 2 answers! I certainly don’t do any structured intervals, but I do tend to go out and do group rides and enjoy myself - simply riding for fun and not having a plan is good for mental recovery. Those rides typically have plenty of easy spinning and coasting in the pack, but also a reasonable amount of work when on the front or on climbs, certainly more than is on the plan. Seems to work ok for me, and I do try to have a block of at least 3-4 days of nothing above z2.

This past week I had some fun on the fat bike!

Honestly, I’ll take things as easy as possible during a de-load week (aka recovery and/or rest).

I like to take extra days completely off, do things away from the bike, and even reduce the volume of many of the rides I have prescribed. Often I come off of these weeks feeling pretty flat, but after a couple of tough workouts I am back to full force.

This way I can get a mental reset along with the physiological one. I just can’t slog away at endurance time on the trainer for a week. It makes me much less motivated to train when I do come back to the hard stuff.

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I can’t stand low intensity rides on the rollers. Either end up doing something else (running, probably) or doing nothing and just skipping a bunch of workouts.

Also should note that typically I’m more depressed on these weeks so I wouldn’t really advocate this approach.

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